Funds available to BC shellfish growers
By Liza Mayer
Funding is available to shellfish growers in British Columbia to support their adoption of new or improved traceability systems.
Under the Traceability Acquisition Program, the British Columbia Shellfish Growers Association offers 95 percent reimbursement on expenses for traceability solutions that the program have identified as being suitable.
“Essentially we provide a ‘shopping list’ and growers can select the option best suited to their needs and we cover 95 percent of that cost,” said Nico Prins, who was named as executive director of the BCSGA in November 2021.
BlueTrace, an app that helps shellfish growers trace the journey of their product from tide to table, is among those on the list, as is Compass Aquaculture Solutions. “We’re are looking at including Vericatch also,” said Prins.
About 30 members of his association have adopted BlueTrace since the program’s launch in October 2021, Prins said.
“We estimated that we would get about 40 members subscribed before the end of the fiscal year (31 March 2022). We have approximately 150 members, but many of them already have custom solutions and would not need to adopt our program.”
The funds are from the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Members of the BC Shellfish Growers Association could reach out to the association to avail of the funding and, if funds allow, it is also open to other shellfish growers in BC who are not members of the association.
The Province of British Columbia has a similar program that offers funding for traceability solutions. Called Traceability Adoption Program, the initiative is available to a much wider group of industries, not just farmed shellfish. Application for funding under the program is expected to re-open in the new fiscal year starting April 1, 2022.